GoPro cameras have already changed the way sports are filmed from a technical level, but now the NHL Is hoping that it’ll change how their sport is perceived from a more personal level.
As part of the renewal of their partnership, the National Hockey League and GoPro announced today a new documentary series that promises, according to an official release, to take fans on “an immersive look at what happens on the ice during after-hours training sessions.” It’s part of a push by the NHL (along with docu-series like EPIX’s Road to the Winter Classic) to bring fans closer to the players with original content aimed at breaking them out of the “aw, shucks, I’m just here for the team” mold they so often fall into.
Utilizing helmet-mounted GoPro cameras, the series follows a number of top NHL stars—including Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux, Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin, last year’s playoff MVP Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, and New Jersey Devils All-Star goaltender Cory Schneider—as they prep their gear, perform drills, and goof around on the ice.
“We know hockey fans want a more comprehensive, personal understanding of players’ lives and their journey onto the ice each night,” said Keith Wachtel, NHL Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships, in a statement. “The NHL After Dark series delivers not just a unique perspective on the game of hockey, but a new look into the personalities of our players. We are excited to extend the GoPro partnership and give our fans access to places they’ve never been before.”
The partnership with the NHL helps GoPro continue to extend its reach beyond the world of extreme sports—while they still maintain deals with, say, American Motorcross, they have produced original content for the Tour de France, and Super Bowl winning coach Jon Gruden.
Last summer, the NHL and Major League Baseball agreed that Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) would be taking over operations of the NHL Network, giving MLBAM exclusive rights to distribute live, out-of-market NHL games via the subscription services NHL GameCenter Live and NHL Center Ice, and will bring video, live game streaming, social media, fantasy sports, statistical and analytical content, and apps all under one digital hub. This new GoPro produced series will be distributed on channels owned and powered by GoPro, the NHL and the NHLPA, including the NHL Network, the GoPro Channel, the NHL App, the GoPro App, YouTube, and on the social media channels of GoPro, the NHL, and the NHLPA.